Adapting to the New Dietary Guidelines
A healthy diet is key to long-term, successful weight loss. Earlier this year, the government released new dietary guidelines. These guidelines were developed to help Americans improve their health by following a healthy diet that lowers the risk for illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease. Below are some simple tips to help you make easy changes to your diet to meet the new guidelines.
Studies show that people who regularly eat breakfast are more successful with long-term weight loss than those that skip it. Give your body the fuel it needs to conquer the day with a breakfast packed with protein and complex carbohydrates. In a rush? Grab a carton of Greek yogurt or instant oatmeal and mix in some frozen berries.
Swap butter for oil and healthy fats
Trade unhealthy saturated fats for heart-healthy omega fats by using olive oil instead of butter. Use canola oil when you cook and swap out mayonnaise on your sandwich with avocados.
Bring your own snacks.
Whether it’s the office vending machine or the grocery store checkout aisle, noshing on unhealthy snacks can really pack on the pounds. Bringing your own healthy snacks with you is a great way to save calories and money. When you leave the house, stash a healthy snack in your bag. This way, when a food craving hits, you won’t be racing to the nearest drive-thru.
Choose fish – and eat it fresh.
Up your weekly fish intake to 8 ounces by eating fish at least twice a week. Six of the healthiest fish and shellfish to eat are troll-caught albacore tuna (lower levels of mercury and contaminants), farmed muscles and oysters, shrimp and prawns, farmed rainbow trout (lower in contaminants), Alaskan wild-caught salmon, and wild-caught Pacific sardines. And remember, eat your fish the day you buy it for maximum freshness and nutrients.
Cut back on salt.
An easy way to cut back on salt is to cut back on pre-packaged foods. Pre-packaged frozen foods and canned soups are typically high in sodium. Read the label carefully, and look for labels that say ‘no salt added’ or ‘low sodium.’
If you have a serious sweet tooth, cutting out dessert every night may drive you crazy. Don’t worry – you can still indulge in something sweet without the guilt. Choose Greek yogurt with fresh berries for a sweet helping of protein, fiber and vitamins.
You don’t need to become a vegetarian, but one day per week don’t eat any meat or poultry. You’ll cut down on saturated fats and cholesterol, and up your intake of fiber-rich protein sources such as beans, soy and nuts.
Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Yep, you’ve heard this one before, aim for at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Stock your fridge with frozen vegetables and fruits and add them into your favorite meals. Eat fruit as a snack every day. And aim to fill at least half your plate at every meal with fruits and vegetables.
Just say no to processed sugar.
If you’re like most Americans, you’ve got a healthy addiction to processed sugar – and you don’t even know it. Unfortunately, this also means you’ve got a one-way ticket to obesity and other health problems. Like sodium, many pre-packaged foods are packed with added sugar in the form of corn syrup. Cut back on pre-packed foods and soft drinks, and satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit.
Drink more water.
Adults need eight, 8-ounce servings of water per day. While you likely already know this, actually getting all 8 servings in can be a challenge. Swap your coffee for green tea, cut out sugary sodas (yes, this also means your favorite diet soft drink) and keep a water bottle with you at all times.